Build Your Community, Stop Begging for One

by Seth

Recently I house sat a small dog named Louis (Looey) for a couple of weeks.  He was an incredibly well trained dog that never once made a mess on the floor, ruined my furniture, scratched my door, or barked all night.

By the end of the week I realized that Louis was a one in a million kind of dog.  He waited until I took him out to go the bathroom, he was ready when I put him to bed, and the best part is that he never begged.

Now what I learned from Louis can help everyone with their blogging.  Except for what was absolutely necessary Louis, strangely enough, was a self-sufficient dog.

Stop Begging for Hand-Outs

Depending on other bloggers that are bigger than you to drop you  scraps from their over-abundant plates is one of the biggest signs of failed blogging.

Instead of sitting by and waiting for someone with lots of traffic, a high-pagerank, and more than the average amount of generosity to graciously link, tweet, or stumble your blog, do it yourself.  You have to get out there in the blogosphere and stop begging for someone else to get your goals for you.

Imagine how different the world would be if we each lived out our own dreams and stopped being an imposter in someone else’s. @prosperbydesign

To break down how we depend on big bloggers for everything I would like to take a look at the sources of traffic for your blog.  I am sure you know your statistics because if you are anything like me you wake up, get on the computer and either shout “Hurray!” or put your head down gloomily in shame all based on the numbers.

Evaluating this data, how much of the traffic came from efforts you made to bring it their?  Where you the one kicking everyone’s trash by producing a new product?  Did you come out with an incredible resource?  Did you manually submit your best content to social media like Digg, Stumbleupon and Delicious?  Or are you taking an active role in Twitter.  Maybe you say yes to the social bookmarking but are not sure about the other questions.  I am not trying to tell you that referrals are bad in any way.  In fact they are the best form of traffic!

The point I am getting at is whether the traffic you now have is because at some point, some blogger, some where found your content and liked it enough to link to it.  Or is it because you were out making the most of your time and really promoting it.

If you are like a lot of bloggers I am sure you do not like promotion.  It’s long and can be tedious to build backlinks, comment, and do “regular” begging to the bigger bloggers.  So let me fill you in on what you can do to drastically alter your traffic.

How to Increase Your Traffic

The key to building your own traffic is providing something worth networking for.  I mean the big bloggers will come to you if you have something they need or want to share with their readers.

They will come begging to you if you put the time into coming up with the right product and strategy for marketing it.

For example, Blogussion has seen incredible traffic recently due to lots of promotional efforts being made.  We are now reaching our once lofty expectations for pageviews, length of visits, and subscribers.

Most importantly we worked for it.  Building excellent content was the first step.  We provided something for our visitors to both enjoy and learn from.

Next we got people outside of our own blog administration pages to actually look at it!  This is how we did it.

  1. 2 Guest Posts at Problogger in the same week.
  2. Stumbling Articles as they are published.
  3. (BIG) Stumbling older posts in our archives which could easily go viral!
  4. Emailing a few of our fellow Bloggers to Stumble our posts as well.
  5. Commenting on a VARIETY of blogs both in and outside our niche
  6. Emailing bloggers to collaborate on future projects
  7. Helping our current subscribers and commentators with personal questions and responses.
  8. Guest posts every week somewhere!
  9. Developing our Twitter profiles to maximize exposure through sincere tweets, honest RT’s and lots of real @replies.
  10. Helping Big bloggers when they are busy by asking them what we can do for them… occasionally its with a guest post!

Old Dogs Can Learn New Tricks

If you are still wondering if you can do this, just know that it is completely possible.  All the things we are doing are so easy to do when you actually sit down and do them.

Another great way to help is by building a community of smaller to medium sized blogs.  Start paying attention to the needs of other bloggers you know.  Help them with a guest post, link to one of their stellar articles, email with a useful link to an article you know they need for a future project, and of course tweets, stumbles and diggs!

If everyone starts going out of their way to do things for others, they’ll notice a pattern that will start working for them too!  People like helping people that help them (confusing enough :) ).  So to start it out right, start subscribing to others stumbles by going to their profiles, adding them as followers, and subscribing to their blogs.

After doing this you will find a very well respected and helpful community that is starting to be built all around you.  So stop begging, and start building the blog you want to have.

Time for Action

To get things started right now, here is a list of things you can do before your leave this page to build a community around you. We wont do this very often (for fear of spammers), but its a great way to build your community.  Just make sure to be BRIEF:

  1. Put a brief description of your blog (1-2 sentences) in the comments below.  Let us all know what your blog is about.  You don’t need to link to it because commentluv does that for you.
  2. Let others know your favorite social media site
  3. Tell everyone how you can help them.
  4. Tell us how we can help you.
  5. Determine to help someone on the comment list every day until you have completed the list.  After some time you will have made a lot of friends and built some good traffic.

Here is an example for you to follow:

1. Blogussion is a resource for bloggers to get targeted blogging tips, tricks and design help.
2. StumbleUpon
3. Email with an honest critique of your current blogging
4. Stumble this post!

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Grace February 28, 2010 at 5:32 pm

Great article, thank you! My blog isn’t brand-new but I’m putting more effort now into marketing it, and posts like this are very helpful.

1. “Life in Miniature” is about the art of miniatures – projects and tutorials, interesting websites, artist profiles, tips for organizing your studio, and whatever else strikes my fancy!

2. Facebook, Delicious, StumbleUpon

3. I’m happy to read and comment on blogs, stumble them, post links on FB and Delicious, etc. I read a lot of blogs, not just mini-related. If you write about miniatures, I might be able to do more (feature guest posts, resource info, etc.)

4. You can help me by commenting on my posts and sharing them. I’m open to comments and critiques from everyone, even non-miniaturists!

5. I’m off to read some of the blogs from the comments here!
.-= Grace´s last blog ..It’s a Winter Wonderland in Indiana =-.

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Mike February 28, 2010 at 5:48 pm

1. Interrupting the Silence focuses on spiritual formation and theology within the contemplative/mystical tradition of Anglicanism and Eastern Orthodoxy.
2. I prefer Facebook mostly because it has provided the most traffic.
3. I can help by retweeting, offering post comments, and general feedback regarding your blog.
4. You can help me by offereing a critique of my content – is it meaningful, relelvant? and by commenting on posts. Thank you.
.-= Mike´s last blog ..Whom Do I Treat Unjustly? =-.

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paco dans March 1, 2010 at 7:32 am

Hello . Great Post
1. Modern Architecture , Construction and Design in spanish
2. my favourite social site : Twitter
3. I can help you reviewing your site or putting a link on the blogroll about same interests or topics
4. You can help RT in twitter our posts as well on Facebook

Many thanks . Best wishes. Happy blogging.
.-= paco dans´s last blog ..Hans Wegner , Diseño Danés con clase =-.

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Kathryn Lang March 1, 2010 at 7:33 am

I just found your site through a guest post on Problogger – linking to each other is always a great way to help each other (the reader and the writer).

1. I have several blogs, but all of them come back to encouragement, inspiration and passion – finding yours and sharing it with others.
2. I use Twitter and Facebook the most (although neither as efficiently as I should).
3. I am looking to help others by encouraging them through comments on their sites, through forums in my niche and through guest blogs.
4. I am looking for help from others through links and also opportunities to be a guest blogger. I am also open to others blogging on my sites as well.

Thank you for this chance to make more connections with others that have the passion and heart that I have for writing and for encouraging others to be all that they desire!
.-= Kathryn Lang´s last blog ..Writing Despite the Tough Times =-.

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Avil Beckford March 1, 2010 at 8:22 am

I found this blog a post through a link in a guest post on Problogger.

1. My blog is The Invisible Mentor and it’s an education one which has book reviews and interviews of highly accomplished people, among other things. The tenet is that you can be mentored and learn by observing people from a distance. It is information and wisdom from a distance.
2. I use Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn and I am getting better at using them. When I remember and thank you for reminding me I use Digg and StumbleUpon
3. I am looking to help others take control of their professional development.
4. I am looking for help from others through links and more opportunities to be a guest blogger. I have guest blogged for a few bloggers already, one invited me and the others put out a call and I responded. I have asked some folks to do guest posts on my blog and some have agreed but haven’t done it yet. If someone did a guest post, I would like them to review and talk about the one book that profoundly impact them, or write about a challenge they had and how they resolved it and lessons they learned in the process. It should be detailed enough that others can learn from their experiences.

Thank you for this opportunity!
.-= Avil Beckford´s last blog ..Mentoring: Taking Advantage of the Wisdom and Knowlege Around You =-.

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Donna J March 1, 2010 at 9:24 am

I found you by actually clicking a link in a blog article that came to my inbox (Jenny McCoy’s guest post on ProBlogger).

This was truly one of the most practical and useful and high quality blog posts about blogging that I’ve ever read.

I plan to start working these simple steps. I have tried stumbleupon before, but did not like it. However, I’ll get back in there and add blogussion and other folks and get plugged into the blogging community there.

Thanks again!
.-= Donna J´s last blog ..Game Reviews: Facebook Games and JumpStart for Kids =-.

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CrisisMaven March 1, 2010 at 9:25 am

Thanks for the pointers. Since I have a blog on economics I intuitively did this “help others” thing when I discovered I had a lot of links to statistical and other resources that I saw others often were struggling to find. So I continuously post these in my Statistical Reference List which gets a regular stream of repeat visitors esp. since some of them bookmark the page if they work e.g. as jounrnalists or in research etc. (or need to do assignments as students).
.-= CrisisMaven´s last blog ..Economic Musings II: The Euro as a Basket Case =-.

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Donna March 1, 2010 at 9:31 am

To CrisisMaven:

I love that you’re allowing your blog to be a reference point for online researchers. This is a lesson for me, as I seek to help others in the music world. My mental wheels are turning about how I can be a great reference resource, as well.

Thanks!
.-= Donna´s last blog ..Congrats to Baby Condrey: Corey and Joann’s New Little Girl =-.

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Donna J March 1, 2010 at 9:26 am

Also, you asked for commenters to leave a couple of blurbs about their blogs:

I am a writer – blogger who enjoys writing about my very diverse interests. I am a very blessed and devoted Christian bi-lingual (Eng/Fr) Woman Wife and Homemaking Homeschooling Mom who loves her family and loves to help other people.

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Sarah Baron March 1, 2010 at 11:40 am

Hi there,
Great article. Apparently this is an inspiring article, so much so that it became a guest post.

1. Anonymous8 is a blog about a group of women who share such good and private information that we’d be unfair not to share. The results? Taking better care of ourselves and our others.
2. Twitter
3. Help you? Visit and comment on your site.
4. Help me? Do the same. Thanks so much

Sarah Baron

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Lori Lowe March 1, 2010 at 12:15 pm

Enjoy your tips. My site, LifeGems4Marriage.com, provides research-based marriage and relationship tips ex. 4 Proven Secrets of Long Marriage.
Guest posting and commenting have helped me expand readership, but I always appreciate feedback from other bloggers.

There are a lot of good bloggers here–I’ll review/repost as I can.
I’d appreciate the same from you all! There’s also a free e-book if you would like to download. Cheers!
Lori Lowe

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Jim Camut March 1, 2010 at 4:32 pm

1. ManifestWell.com (my blog) is a growing community of thinkers, innovators, and people who want to help manifest wellness and suggest ways we can all improve our lives. Anyone can share a suggestion, tip, article or idea and I want to post the best ideas on my blog.

2. My favorite social media is twitter.

3. I can help you by posting your idea and give you a guest post on my website to promote your idea.

4. You can help me by and stumbling or critiquing my website.

Thanks everyone, and awesome post Seth! I like where this is going. I’ll be back to this discussion board to see who I can help out.
.-= Jim Camut´s last blog ..Falling in Time Sinks? – Fighting back to productivity =-.

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Robin Donnelly, LPN, DCP March 1, 2010 at 9:35 pm

1.) My eldercare blog is a Blog from a Geriatric Nurse who owns and operates her own homecare agency and has senior parents. Discussing adult children’s issues, what you need to know when choosing homecare, and sharing my my perspective on everything geriatric.
2.) Facebook is my favorite social networking site: Business: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lorain-OH/Visiting-Angels-Senior-Homecare/45719246035?ref=ts Personal: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?ref=profile&id=503294054
3.) I can help you by posting your idea and give you a guest post on my website to promote your idea, leave comments that are encouraging and helpful on your site.
4.) Email me with an honest critique of my current blog.
5.) Retweet me.

(6 years ago I could only check email. I learned everything listed above by reading articles on the internet! I’ve come along way, and know I have so much more to learn! Mold me!) ~ Robin

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Victoria Knox March 6, 2010 at 11:10 pm

Great read – I literally just started my own blog, posting romance and erotica stories. Have been researching ways to promote my blog and get some traffic up, and welcome any and all opportunities to make a successful blog!

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delia March 11, 2010 at 9:34 pm

thanks for the open advice, and mostly for the honest kick in the pants
just because it seems like big bloggers got famous overnight doesn’t mean anyone else can expect that to happen

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Markaz March 21, 2010 at 5:42 am

Hi. Im running a blog about microfinance and would appreciate if someone could help identify a niche in this topic. I can help others by writing guest posts about microfinance, and would welcome others to do the same!
.-= Markaz´s last blog ..The New Economy for Microfinance – Part II =-.

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Mark A March 22, 2010 at 12:32 am

Hey, great post. I was referred here by a great post from Jenny McCoy on problogger

1. Buckinghoarse is social commentary, facebooking (and others) tips, and web junking told through what I hope are funny narratives, personal experiences, and fictional stories. My hope is to turn the site into a platform for fun games, discussions and skits.

2. Facebook

3. Well, I’m in lawschool right now, so if you have an remedial law questions, perhaps I could help :) Also, just let me know. I’m busy with school, but who isn’t busy with something?

4. I don’t know how stumble or anything like that works (I’m learning fast), but if you want to take a look at my site it would be appreciated. Also, I have a lot of questions about uploading and customizing photos and videos (i.e. editing and putting text into either), so I was wondering if you had any good tips.

5. I’ll definitely try.

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Tristan March 22, 2010 at 10:30 pm

This was a great post, so I’d thought I’d try it out (and help others on on the comment list as best I can).

1. BiblioBanter provides reviews of novels, novellas, short-stories, and other writings in the genres of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror, as well as observations and information relating to the Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror literary field.

2. StumbleUpon

3. Comment on some of your blog postings, stumble your blog or post.

4. Comment on some of my postings, stumble my blog or post!
.-= Tristan´s last blog ..Monday Book Review: Pandora’s Star =-.

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Priya Florence Shah May 27, 2010 at 6:35 am

Wow that was a great post! Excellent tips.

1. Loving Your Child is an Indian Parenting Blog that offers advice and tips on child-focused parenting.

2. We’re on Facebook and Twitter

3. Email me with suggestions on improving blog content, design and anything else that you can think of.

4. You can help by commenting and sharing our posts on FB, Twitter, Stumbleupon and anywhere else you prefer.
.-= Priya Florence Shah´s last blog ..Parenting Advice: Teaching Your Kids To Manage Money =-.

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IM Newbie August 19, 2010 at 7:25 am

Hi, I am an internet marketing newbie making my first steps in this treacherous grounds. I decided to write a blog about what I am doing and about my journey from Internet marketing newbie to internet marketing “guru”…

I am going to provide quality content about the IM niche and I am going to do it for free… No affiliate links and no banners… Only content and guides.

You can really help me by visiting my blog and spreading the word out as well as commenting or emailing me with suggestions.

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Jason @ I need lots of money now September 8, 2010 at 11:19 am

Seth – now that’s a brilliant article and the way your compare it with a “trained” dog like Louise is great. Bloggers MUST become more organized and need to show theirselves the committment to do the things they know they need to do and, as you say it, stop begging or hoping that some other person will come by and put some cash into their hand

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Gwen September 21, 2010 at 7:13 pm

New Perspective Today was started as a resource for spiritual, mental, emotional an physical balance. It’s not actually a blog yet. I’m waiting till after Halloween cause I started on these Halloween costume sites. I’ve learned so much and realized I set it up all wrong and will have to revamp.

I guess I would say favorite is Facebook just because I have lots of friends on there.

I don’t know how to help other than commenting and using your share buttons after the blog.

You can help me by allowing me to be a part of the community until I get back to New Perspective Today then I’m sure I’ll have questions.
Oh, and why do you think my comments just go off to never never land about half the time.

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karan April 3, 2011 at 4:10 pm

Wow, this post really got my mind crackin!
I guess I need to stop reading here and get back to work and

apply it.
thanks

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